Preserving More Than Food

Every year, the conversation is the same.  My husband insists that I am wasting my time canning. I’m talking about good, old-fashioned canning.  You know, the kind with the water bath canner, the glass mason jars, the old screw top lids.  Canning.  The art of preserving food.  I argue that canning is a lost art, a delicious way to preserve the fruits of the season.

I usually only do it once a year. Sometimes twice. It’s a big production. It takes up a good part of the day (okay, it takes up the whole day if you consider the number of times I stop to tend to a child or attend to another need around the house or serve a meal) and it takes over the kitchen completely.

It’s actually all a little daunting.  I wake up on the morning I’ve planned to can and I ask myself again if I’m sure I’m up for it.  Usually I dread it a little because I know once I start, there is no stopping until each of those jars have popped and I know all of my food is sealed and preserved.  Yet, I still do it.  Pop over to Corpus Christi Moms Blog to read why.

{this moment}

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual.   A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

One Glimpse (and I'm in Love All Over Again)

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I caught a glimpse of him standing outside the kitchen window.  His face was turned down with his visor covering his face, his jawline the only visible part of him.  I snapped a picture of him in my mind, that strong jawline, the well defined calf muscles, the relaxed stance.  Age has been kind to him, weathered him in ways that make my heart  go crazy every time he glances over at me.

He lifts his head and catches my eye at the window.  Sure enough, my heart rate speeds up and I find myself blushing at the thought that he caught me staring at him.  Almost 15 years and I still find myself staring at him.  I can’t help it.  I like watching him walk into a room.  I like watching him laugh with his whole heart at a joke.  I like watching his eyes light up when he sees me.

For one quick moment, I wondered.  I wondered what I would think if I didn’t know him.  If I just passed him on the street or stood in line behind him at the grocery store.  One quick glance at him and I’d miss so much.

I’d miss his determination, his courage, his steadfastness, his discipline.  I’d miss how he delights in the moment, how he’s still a kid at heart, how he loves with his whole body and heart.  I’d miss his enjoyment of a glass of fine wine, the pure joy of visiting a new place, the quiet contentment of the simplicity he craves.

I’d miss all that because not knowing him, not spending 15 years with him would change my view.  So very much.  I have the special privilege of journeying this life with him.  Of seeing the moments that have defined him.  Of witnessing character formation and virtue in training.

I’m the one who witnessed the pride in his eyes when he first held each of our babies, the joyful anticipation of years to come when we exchanged vows.  I’m the one who witnessed the struggles, the hard work, the grit and determination of building his business.  I’m the one who looks into his eyes every night and reads the barometer on his soul.  I’m the one who sees what no one else sees.

Maybe that’s why I like staring at him.  ‘Cause I know what’s hidden beneath that strong jawline.  I know what drives him each day.  I know what makes him tick, what makes him laugh, what makes him smile.

I can’t help it.  Almost 15 years since I fell in love with him.  And still…I catch a glimpse of him and fall in love all over again.

 

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A Salve for my Soul: Intentional Reading

This is the third post in my Intentional Reading series as I tackle pinning down my intentions for the coming year as far as the information I put into my brain.  You might remember that I’ve broken my intentional reading list up into three areas: Mind, Body, and Spirit.  This list focuses on books meant to soothe my soul and lift my spirit.

When I sat down to think of what would nourish my soul, I was so excited about the possibilities.  My list quickly filled up and I had to do some serious paring down so as not to have the opposite effect on my soul.  In a year of intentional living, my goal is to nurture my soul and respect my time constraints, not overwhelm myself.

My criteria for this list were quite simple…the books that I chose had to be filled with beauty, truth and goodness.  They had to, in some way, nourish my soul and lift my spirit.

Some are more intense than others.

Some are just for fun because light and fun often lifts my spirits.

Some are in preparation for assigning them to my own little flock…by pre-reading them, I’m able to build the foundation upon which great conversations can take place.  It’s hard to discuss ideas and characters and dilemmas when I haven’t personally engaged with the reading and as my learners grow and branch out more on their own to read more independently and less as a family, I want to be sure that our conversations have the chance to continue.

The only books for my soul  that aren’t listed here are the ones listed on my post about my book club.  Those books, coupled with my book club conversations, feed and nourish my soul in a way that nothing else does, so be sure to pop over there to see which books we’re tackling this year.

Alright, here we go…

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Books for My Soul:

  • The Quiet Light:  I am a huge fan of de Wohl, his favorite of mine being The Living Wood.
  • Hindfeet in High Places:  This one came highly recommended and it gets such amazing reviews…I’m very excited!
  • With God in Russia:  This has been on my list for quite some time and I’m glad it made my intentional list for this year.
  • The Broken Way:  Leslie and I are working through this one together.  We’re going nice and slowly so that we can really soak in all the depth here.
  • *The C.S. Lewis Bible:  This has been my go-to bible for the last few years.  I love the reflections from Lewis and I haven’t made it all the way through.  I’ll pick this up from time to time and soak in The Word.  It’s a delightful salve for my weary soul.

Books for Fun to Lift My Spirit:

Books In Preparation for Great Conversations:

Please leave a comment and let me know what you’re using this year to nurture your soul and lift your spirits!

{A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}

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Looking in the mirror and accepting what we see is an intentional act.  Being happy with what see is an act of grace.

Being intentional is easier said than done.  It’s easier imagined than executed.  So here’s where we inspire you every week with a simple picture and a few words.  Think of this as a chance to help you realize the simplicity of intentional. 

Be inspired.  Allow gratitude and joy and beauty to sneak in with every intention.  And then won’t you come back and share your moment with us?  Or leave a link in the comments to your blog where you celebrate {A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}. 

 

 

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{this moment}

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual.   A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Daybook

In my backyard… there are four little monkeys hanging out in a pod.

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I am remembering… this little babysitter.  That’s Joey when he was just a few months old.  Phoebe kept by his side day and night watching over him.

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I am grateful for…Lori Concert at Miss Daisy’s Naturals and her beautiful gift of body butter that we offered up in a giveaway this week over on With Every Intention.  Some lucky gal is going to be slathering her body with that butter and loving the lavender scent that permeates the air.

Joey was delighted to be chosen to pull a name from the hat…if it’s up to my kids, we’ll have giveaways often just so they can take turns pulling names.

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I am watching…Katie as she moves all her little figurines around, lost in a world of imagination.

I am listening…to Nim’s Island with the kids at lunch and Heart of Darkness on Audible.

I am wondering…why can’t I carve more time into my day???  So many podcasts to listen to, so many places to visit, so many things to do!

I am laughing…at William.  He was sitting beside me and he wrinkled his nose.  I asked him if he smelled something (as he has an incredibly sensitive nose) and he said, “No I was going to sneeze but I was a sneezer failure.”

I am reflecting…on the idea that “maybe the love gets in easier right where the heart’s broke open” from Ann Voskamp’s new book The Broken Way.  It’s a revolutionary thought…to imagine that brokenness leads to abundance but a thought that gives me hope and fills me with joy.

In the schoolroom…Next week is our week off.  I plan to use the scheduling cards from Sabbath Mood Homeschooling to lay out our CM schedule.  Hoping to post some CM scheduling help and ideas soon.  I am in love.

Around the house…Jessica came over yesterday and we prepared our Fire Cider together.  It looks beautiful but I dread tasting it…I know what’s in it and I’m just having hard time imagining what it will taste like.

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In the kitchen…William got up early this morning to whip up some homemade doughnuts for us.  He spread maple glaze over the top.  Delicious!

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I am wearing…sea green Lularoe leggings and a sky blue sleeveless top.  ‘Cause it’s that warm here on this early February day.  Winter came and went so quickly I hardly even noticed it.

We are preparing for…a spring camping trip.  The weather has been gorgeous, the nights have been lovely and I’m aching to gaze at the stars without the twinkle of city lights.

Someday I am going to miss…the gangly arms and legs, the awkward way he moves…’cause one of these days he’s going to grow into it all and that little boy that I adore will be grown up.

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I am readingAmerica’s First Daughter, The Highly Sensitive Person, The Hiding Place and After You

One of my favorite things…tinkering with herbs with the kids.  Joey and I made a plantain salve this last week that we’ve already made good use of.

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A peek into my day…Jessica and I have been trying to watercolor paint together every once in awhile.  My artist skills needs some serious work.

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Please visit The Simple Woman’s Daybook for more daybook entries.

 

 

Learning to Speak the Love Language of My Children

I love February with its designated day for love.  Really, a holiday for love?  Oh yes, please.

I’m not the commercial sort that loves to receive flowers or chocolates.  Rather I love February because it gives me a chance to speak love in many languages and to reach deep into the hearts of my children without appearing overly sentimental (because who can call anyone overly sentimental in a month dedicated to love?!)

In the past, as Valentine’s Day approached, I would run out to the stores and stock up on candy and cards to give out to my loved ones.  After a plethora of candy (and a decision to cut back on the sweets), I got to thinking a bit more creatively and started giving my kids gifts like crayons (“you color my world!”) and socks (“we’re the perfect pair!”) but over time, I learned the truth: I equated gift giving with showing my love.

Unfortunately, out of my four kids, none of them have gifts as their primary love language and so I was, in essence, spending money when perhaps I should have been spending time.  Or maybe I  left beautifully wrapped gifts when my little one really just wanted me to adorn him with beautifully said words.  Or maybe, just maybe, a hug, a kiss, or a pat on the back spoke louder to my child than an expensive new gadget.

Head on over to Corpus Christi Moms Blog and finish reading about my kiddos and their love languages.

{A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}

Being intentional is easier said than done.  It’s easier imagined than executed.  So here’s where we inspire you every week with a simple picture and a few words.  Think of this as a chance to help you realize the simplicity of intentional. 

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The simple observation of a plant sprouting.  An afternoon playing with watercolors.  A moment that might otherwise have been overlooked is now forever remembered in lovely color.

Be inspired.  Allow gratitude and joy and beauty to sneak in with every intention.  And then won’t you come back and share your moment with us?  Or leave a link in the comments to your blog where you celebrate {A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}. 

 

 

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{this moment}

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual.   A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.